Shih-Chieh Yang, Wen-Jer Chen, Shang-Won Yu, Yuan-Kun Tu, Yu-Hsien Kao, Kao-Chi Chung

July 2008, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 982 - 988 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-008-0680-3

First Online: 30 April 2008

Percutaneous vertebroplasty is widely discussed in the management of osteoporotic spinal compression fracture, but few reports are available concerning salvage procedures after failure of this technique. We studied 22 percutaneous vertebroplasty patients who required revision surgery upon presentation of new symptoms postoperatively. The indications for revision surgery included recurrent intractable back pain with no response to medical treatment, infectious spondylitis, cement leakage with neurologic deficit, and cement dislodgement and/or fragmentation. Five patients underwent repeated percutaneous vertebroplasty of the initially cemented vertebrae. Seventeen patients underwent anterior, posterior, or combined anterior and posterior surgery. Four patients required a third surgical procedure because of poor augmentation with cement, subsidence of the anterior bone graft, or pullout of the instrumentation. Finally, four (18%) patients underwent repeat vertebroplasty, two (9%) patients underwent anterior surgery only, one (5%) patient underwent posterior surgery only, and 15 (68%) patients underwent combined anterior and posterior surgery; all but one regained ambulatory status equivalent to that prior to surgery. In conclusion, percutaneous vertebroplasty is a simple and effective, but not risk- or complication-free procedure for the treatment of osteoporotic spinal compression fracture. The spine surgeon should be familiar with varied approaches and techniques for revision surgery. Combined anterior and posterior surgery seems to be the most secure salvage method to treat severely osteoporotic patients in whom percutaneous vertebroplasty initially failed.

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